Beer served straight from tanks is making further inroads in the UK brewing scene as freshness becomes much more of a big deal. The latest player to enter the freshness is best game is Howling Hops, which last month opened a bar in East London selling a full 10 beers from a row of gleaming vessels situated right behind the bar counter.
In recent years we’ve been enjoying Pilsner Urquell straight from the tanks and Meantime Brewery also tapped into this method of storage and dispense along with Tapped Leeds that sells all its tip-top house beers this way.
Howling Hops has gone the whole hog by selling an impressive selection of 10 brews via tanks – having expanded beyond brewing in the basement of its glorious Cock Tavern pub. And it serves all the beers straight from the tanks, with the tap sticking right out the front.
Dropping by to investigate revealed an industrial unit with a Brooklyn-meets-Hackney look and feel. Although still finding its feet – both visually and with creating its beers in greater volumes and on the new equipment, there is clearly great promise.
On the bar the beer selection included: Smoked Porter (5.6%) with a decent hit of peaty smokiness, Pale XX (5%) packed a full prickly and resinous flavour that suggested a greater ABV. The bar man Alex reckoned it was more like 5.4% (don’t tell the VAT man). Next up, Rye Wit (5.7%) had that typical Belgian yeast aroma and this came through in the initial tasting before being shoved aside viciously by a smack of bittering hops.
After these tasters, and based on my mode of transport, it was best to then settle for a Riding Ale (3%),which was as pale as they come and also a good primer beer.
Next time I’ll ditch the bike and spend a bit more time here in order to get a better handle on what exactly tank beer adds to the Howling Hops brews in your glass (awkward, unrefined dimples in this case).